Sale could face Buehrle if Sox shuffle rotation
ST. LOUIS -- Nothing has been officially announced, but Monday's series opener between the Blue Jays and White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field could feature a mound matchup between Mark Buehrle and Chris Sale.
Buehrle pitched 12 years for the White Sox, won a World Series with the team in 2005 and was a valued teammate of Sale. He beat the Red Sox on Wednesday afternoon for win No. 9, moving the southpaw closer to his 15th straight season with at least 200 innings pitched, 30 starts and double-digit victories. With the Blue Jays having no off-days this week, Buehrle would be on his regular turn Monday.
Sale matched Pedro Martinez as the only pitchers in Major League history to record double-digit strikeouts in eight straight games by fanning 12 Cardinals on Tuesday. He would line up for Sunday's series finale against the Orioles, but White Sox manager Robin Ventura said Wednesday that they might move Sale back one day and use Carlos Rodon on Sunday.
There's nothing physically wrong with Sale. But with Rodon having not started since June 25 in Detroit, the White Sox want to get the rookie back to work.
"We don't want too long of a layoff, because of the feel and command," said Ventura of Rodon. "You want him to have the most normal experience, but it's hard to do that with a guy as young as him and has made it here this quick.
"You're trying to be careful with him, but making it normal as possible while giving him a break here and there. We did it with Chris, so kind of going along the same lines with Carlos. But don't really want it to be two weeks off and then pitch. For him to have this one is a nice little stretch."
In Sale's last 10 starts, he has thrown under 110 pitches just once. So this discussion is more about Ventura and pitching coach Don Cooper taking care of Sale and keeping him sharp.
Ventura said that often times Sale comes back from a little rest and has even stronger starts, if that's possibly imaginable at this point. Sale's last 10 starts have yielded 115 strikeouts and 12 walks over 76 innings pitched.
A great trust exists between Sale and catcher Tyler Flowers, with Sale basically throwing what Flowers puts down. He's similar to Buehrle in that they both get the ball and throw.
"When you have stuff like they did and the feel they do, you can trust it," Ventura said. "[Sale] has conviction with everything he throws."
• The White Sox reinstated left-handed reliever Dan Jennings from his injury rehabilitation assignment at Triple-A Charlotte and reinstated him from the 15-day disabled list. They also optioned right-hander Junior Guerra to Charlotte.
Jennings, 28, was placed on the disabled list on June 7 (retroactive to June 5) with inflammation on the left side of his neck. He threw six innings for Charlotte and hopes that the little added something at the end of his pitches returns now that he's 100 percent healthy.
"I threw a lot of ground balls in my rehab stint, which was really comforting," Jennings said. "I was able to throw my sinker and get those ground balls, which was a really good feeling again."